Undercover armed air marshalls are to be placed on UK
flights to the US. Pilots’ union BALPA claimed some members might refuse to fly
unless they received assurances that pilots retained control of their aircraft
and knew when marshalls were on board.

The decision to introduce marshalls – all of whom will
have a police or military background – is believed to have been taken in
response to the heightened terror alert in the US. Air France was forced to
cancel Paris flights to Los Angeles and Cincinnatti over Christmas because of
security fears.

Meanwhile, the Foreign Office has warned terrorists
could be in the “final stages” of planning new attacks in Saudi Arabia. The
warning, based on intelligence, includes possible attacks on residential
compounds housing UK workers.